Being in Arkansas usually means that you’ll take many, many trips to Branson, MO. It’s close, family-friendly, and there is quite a bit to do. We were wanting to do something a bit different this time, however. I found this place only 30 minutes away called Dogwood Canyon. It’s a bit pricey, but what a neat place!
First, let me give you the scoop. This is land owned by the people who own Bass Pro Shop. As you’d expect, its a beautiful natural area. It is definitely more tame than many other places you could visit. Personally, I prefer a nice hike using GPS to little-known areas. With my wife and our two girls, though, this was much more appropriate. It’s a great way for people to experience nature if they’re physically unable to hike, have small children, or just don’t like roughing it a bit.
You’ll cross back and forth over this creek many times throughout your journey. You have several options… hiking, biking, segways, trams, and Jeep tours. The tram tour was the most family friendly so we opted for that option.
I had to stop being a photographer for a moment and just enjoy the trip. The sun was harsh and I didn’t have time to setup a tripod or switch lenses often. That’s not easy for me to do!!! There are the three beautiful ladies of my life on the other side of the water! 😀
This is one of the many waterfalls you’ll find along the way. My understanding is that most of their waterfalls are natural, but assisted by pumps now. Pretty nice setup! Even if it’s dry out, they’ll pump the water so you won’t be disappointed!
Trout fishing is one of the big attractions at this place. They’re huge and everywhere!
Here is the chapel which hosts many weddings each year. What a beautiful view this place has!
Spring hadn’t set in yet on Dogwood Canyon. I’d love to see this place with some greenery. True to its name, there are several dogwoods along the way that will have beautiful blooms.
Those are rainbow trout splashing out of the water. Get a net!
I had to shoot this from the tram. My OCD was kicking in and I wanted to recompose closer, bracket my shots, use my ND filter and possibly a polarizer…. doh!
This place is known as the “Glory Hole.” No, don’t mistake this for the amazing waterfall in Arkansas. The Glory Hole is stocked full with rainbow trout. Regular guests are not allowed to fish here. It is reserved for VIPs and special occasions. George Bush, Johnny Cash, and other notables have fished here before. They also make this place available for Make a Wish foundation children. Awesome!
Just to the side of the Glory Hole is this beautiful waterfall.
This awesome rock apply named “Buffalo Rock” was found like this in the creek (not carved by hand). They brought it out and braced it for photo ops.
My girls with their walking sticks.
A beautiful bluff line along the creek.
After a tour along the river, you cross from Missouri in to Arkansas. Here they have a nice wildlife refuge. In the first spot they have white tailed deer.
After the deer you cross into an area with elk, buffalo, and a couple of longhorns. Didn’t expect them to come right to us! They drop feed right by the tram so you can see them close. Most had already lost their racks, but a couple were still holding on.
Like I said, they are CLOSE!
This guy decided to say hello to my wife and kids. They loved it!
Licking his chops, posing for the camera.
One of the last stops was a pool filled with Golden Trout. I had never seen these before. Very cool!
Feeding the pool of trout is yet another waterfall. Good grief!
Overall, I’m very glad we visited this place. It was a wonderful change of pace and the girls loved the waterfalls and fish. The tram service made it a snap to tour the miles of land. It is a bit pricey, but it was a fun time with family. Check it out sometime!